Progressive jackpots in slot games seems like a match made in heaven. After all, there is at least one jackpot millionaire at online casinos every few weeks. Not to mention the side pots, which are won around the world every minute. Such popularity is only adding fuel to the fire enabling jackpots to grow faster and bigger than ever before. But being spoiled for choice is a double-edged sword.
So before you jump head-first into the first tempting jackpot game that you find, you may want to know how to maximize your chances for success. As you will see, this has plenty to do with both the game and the casino, and less about the constellations in the sky. Luck still plays a major role in this, but being clever about this can go a long way. Join me for a quick overview of progressive jackpots, the most popular games, recommended slot sites, jackpot types and tips on how to win them.
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Find the Best Casino with Biggest Progressive Jackpots
Every progressive jackpot has a point where it is most likely to be won. Once that threshold is broken, the probability of winning the prize increases with every penny. Unfortunately, not all jackpots are the same at every casino, so spotting jackpots that are most likely to drop can be a hassle. That’s why we created a tool that scans major online casinos and tracks slot jackpots in real-time. Even though winners cannot be predicted, at least this is something you can do to tilt the odds in your favour.
Progressive Slots Jackpot – How Does it Work?
A progressive jackpot is based on two things: first, it typically has a starting amount, which is a guaranteed minimum win. Depending on how popular it is, it will start growing faster or slower immediately after someone wins. The prize increases because a certain percentage of every bet that is placed on the game is added to the jackpot.
There are two types of progressive jackpot slots: those in which the jackpot is networked (used by many casinos) and those in which the jackpot grows within one or few online casinos. If the jackpot is indeed a local one, it can only be shared between online casinos that are operated by the same company. The difference between local and network jackpots is the amount and speed at which the prizes grow: in networked progressive casino games, the jackpot grows at a faster and bigger pace simply because more people play the games which ultimately grows the jackpot.
It’s for that matter that progressive jackpots are so popular and sought-after at online casinos and slot sites. One of the most prominent developers of progressive jackpot slots, Microgaming, reported 2,571,389 jackpots, of which 550+ players won €10,000 or more, during the first 8 months of 2020 alone. Combined they paid out over €115 million! The total lifetime payouts for this one developer currently exceeds €1.3 billion!
Different Types of Progressive Slot Games
Not all progressive jackpot games are the same. The type and the amount of a jackpot vary depending on the way the pot is created.
- The Stand-Alone Progressive (Local): This type of progressive slot game is not linked to other machines. Only bets from that specific casino increase the prize pool. They grow more slowly but due to limited availability are less frequently won.
- The in-House Progressive Jackpot (Local): These types of slot games are linked across different slot sites which are owned by an individual company or online casino.
- The Wide Area Progressive Jackpot (Network/Pooled): Here, multiple different online casinos owned by different companies are all linked and share the same jackpot pool. Bets from all connected casinos contribute to the jackpots of one or more slots at the same time, which for example, is the case with all Mega Moolah slots. This type of jackpot multiplies quickly and is also won most frequently.
- Hybrid Progressive Jackpot: Some slots have one jackpot (usually the biggest one) which is networked, and others that are local. One of such games is Mega Fortune (NetEnt), with a pooled Mega Jackpot and local Rapid and Major prizes.
Which one should you choose? There is no best answer to that. The odds of winning a networked progressive jackpot at its boiling point or even higher are lower, as there are so many people around the globe playing the game at the same time. On the other hand, choosing a local progressive jackpot may give you more time and opportunities at the main prize when it is hot, but it will grow at a slower pace.
Here’s a selection of game reviews that have a progressive jackpot of one type or the other:
The Difference Between Fixed and Progressive Jackpots
Progressive slots and regular slots have no significant differences when it comes to gameplay. In fact, some developers add jackpots on top of existing games, as is often the case with must-drop jackpots.
In both game types, the bonus section is usually the one where players can reach for the biggest wins. If the jackpot is fixed, the main prize will never go higher than reported. Fixed jackpots very rarely exceed 50,000x bet (with a few exceptions like San Quentin) and are sometimes capped at 250,000 pounds, like the ones made by Blueprint. With progressive jackpot slots, on the other hand, you can win over a million with a 20p bet. There is, however, one caveat.
👍 Did you know? Hacksaw Gaming‘s My Lucky Number slot has the biggest fixed jackpot in any slot – it has a jackpot of €25,000,000, which can be won in a bonus wheel round.
For the progressive jackpot to get bigger, someone must pay for it. That someone is all players who play the game. It is called jackpot contribution, and it is discounted from each bet that you place in a jackpot game. As a result, the RTPs of such games are significantly lower compared with fixed jackpot slots.
For example, let’s take a look at two games made by different developers. In Microgaming’s Atlantean Treasures Mega Moolah, for example, the progressive jackpot contribution is 5.30%, which when added to the rest of RTP of 86.78% equals 92.08%. In NetEnt’s Mega Fortune, a total of 7.39% of each bet is contributed to the jackpots; on top of which a small part of that is also set aside for future jackpots. If we discount jackpots from the total RTP of 96.6%, we get 89.21%. This means that unless you’re playing this game to win a jackpot, you may be better off playing slots with better payout potential.
How to Win a Progressive Jackpot
I wish I could tell you that there are many strategies to winning a progressive jackpot. In reality, every game is completely random and there are no ways to affect the result. This is because the games use Random Number Generators (RNG), and these are the ones that generate the outcomes of each spin or round. However, there is one thing you can do to increase your chances of winning a jackpot bonus game significantly.
Playing strategies involve different betting styles. With some jackpot slots, including developers like Microgaming and NetEnt, the total bet is directly linked to the probability of winning a jackpot bonus game. Hence, if you play with big stakes, you can sometimes trigger the magic wheel feature every 5 spins! Such is the case with games like Sisters of Oz WowPot, where the maximum stake goes as high as £300. Note that this is not the best strategy, only a shortcut.
With other game providers like Realtime Gaming and their slots like Aztec’s Millions, players must play with the maximum bet of £5 to be eligible for the jackpot.
Progressive jackpots can usually be won in three ways:
- They are activated randomly during the base game – Slots with the Mega Moolah jackpot, the Age of the Gods series from Playtech or the Jackpot King from Blueprint Gaming are some examples.
- By landing symbol combinations – These types of jackpot slots are rarely found these days. This is more relevant to table and card games where players may win the progressive prize with a certain hand.
- Bonus games – Unlike randomly triggered jackpot bonuses, with this type of games, players usually need three Scatters to enter a jackpot feature. NetEnt’s Hall of Gods and Mega Fortune are a couple of popular examples.
In addition to that, there are also Daily Jackpots, which work slightly differently and where time is a major factor. More about that in our Daily Drop Jackpots guide.
Top 5 Progressive Jackpot Wins
Based on multiple different casino jackpots trackers, I’ve gathered a Top 5 list of the biggest progressive jackpot wins to date.
|Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah||€19,430,723.60||2021||Napoleon Sports & Casino|
|Mega Fortune||€17,860,868||2013||Paf Casino|
|Mega Moolah||$20,057,734||2019||Zodiac Casino|
|Book of Atem: WowPot||£15,183,085.96||2021||32Red|
Here’s live footage of one of the most recent biggest wins:
On average, these two Mega Jackpots (Mega Moolah and WowPot) are won every couple of months. This is due to their popularity, which creates a positive loop and back-to-back winners. To give you some statistics, according to Microgaming their Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah slot triggered more than 500,000 wins and over €46 million in prizes across all four of its jackpot tiers!
OMG, I Won! What Happens Now?
One day the unexpected happens, and you miraculously hit the jackpot in, let’s say, Mega Moolah. What happens now, how do you get your money? It is all paid out instantly, right?! Well, that’s when the casino’s T&C, which players rarely read in full, come into play.
There are two ways of receiving a huge lump of money. A fast withdrawal casino with player-friendly terms and conditions will pay out the whole jackpot as a lump sum. Other operators, which treat the jackpot payout as if it was from their pocket, can pay the entire win in monthly instalments. Although jackpots are now being excluded from withdrawal restrictions, it was not long ago when righteous millions which belonged to the lucky players were paid out over years in small amounts!
We always check casinos for such terms and so should you. For your peace of mind, we only selected the jackpot slot sites which will pay out the money in full amount. Here you can also get the idea of their standard cashout limit practice.
|Casino||Max withdrawal||Progressive jackpot limits|
|Aspers||No limits||No limits|
|Ladbrokes||No limits||No limits|
|Casimba||No limits||Jackpots over £250,000 can take 30 days to pay.|
|All British||£5,000 per transaction||No limits but can take up to 30 days to process.|
|SlotsMillion||£50,000 per month||No limits|
|Rizk||No limits||No limits|
|21.co.uk||No limits||No limits|
It’s also good to keep in mind that some online casinos may sometimes include the right to spread the news of your winnings using your actual name and a picture. If you rather stay anonymous, pay attention to the casino’s fine print.
Games with a Progressive Jackpot
The majority of progressive jackpots can be found in slot machines. In few other instances, you may also find them in table games, bingo, keno and of course, the world’s most popular progressive jackpot game, lottery.
Best Progressive Jackpot Slots – TOP 5
Jackpot slots have gained a lot of attention and publicity lately, which is also why there is more choice than ever before. There is more game variety and progressive jackpots from new studios such as Yggdrasil or Red Tiger. Here are the top 5 progressive jackpot slots that are some of the most popular in the UK.
Mega Moolah (Microgaming)
Microgaming’s Mega Moolah could be the most popular progressive jackpot online slot ever made. The original game has 25 lines, 5 reels and a maximum bet of £6.25. The studio actually has a series of Mega Moolah jackpot slots that play differently, so you don’t have to stick to only one to have a shot at the Mega Jackpot!
Wheel of Wishes (Alchemy Studios/Microgaming)
Wheel of Wishes is the first game to feature Microgaming’s new and bigger WowPot! progressive jackpot, which starts at £2,000,000! Played at very low volatility, the game also features 3×3 Giant Symbols and a Power Mode for an extra boost. In fact, we think it’s the best jackpot slot of 2020!
Mega Fortune (NetEnt)
NetEnt’s most iconic progressive jackpot slot, Mega Fortune has made more headlines than any other of their games. Paying out the studio’s biggest jackpots since the company’s early days, this low-volatility slot with 25 pay-lines continues to be one of the most popular among slot goers.
Age of the Gods (Playtech)
Playtech’s never-ending catalogue of Age of the Gods slots is undeniably one of the most popular progressive jackpot slots in the UK. Featuring four progressive jackpots and four free games modes with win multipliers and extra wilds, this 20-line slot offers plenty of bang for the buck.
The Goonies Jackpot King (Blueprint Gaming)
One of Blueprint’s most beloved slots, The Goonies is a slot adventure like no other. It has no less than six bonus rounds and familiar characters from the popular 1980’s cult classic film.
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👍 Did you know? Some casinos like LeoVegas and Casumo now offer exclusive progressive jackpots on the most popular non-jackpot games from different developers. This is one of the first major instances where an operator has stepped in to convert regular slots into jackpot slots without changing the game or the original RTP at all. See how it works on their site if you’re interested.
Progressive Blackjack and Poker
Casino table and card games are very popular online but there are limited options when it comes to progressive jackpot table games. One of the few live casino game developers, Evolution, has a great solution for players looking to spice up an otherwise classic experience. The studio offers progressive jackpots in Live Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Hold ’em Bonus Poker, and Casino Hold ’em. These jackpots also tend to be the biggest of all online table games due to their popularity. You should find them all at major casino brands.
The lottery is even more popular than progressive jackpots. On the other hand, there are not that many online casinos that offer you a chance to participate in lotteries. In recent years, things have changed, and national as well as international lotteries have been added to the games selection to multiple online casinos. This gives you the chance of taking part in some of the biggest lotteries in the world. For instance, the US giants, such as PowerBall and Mega Millions, with up to £100 million up for grabs. Here are some recommended slot sites with the lotto option:
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Tips for Making the Most of Progressive Jackpot Games
Progressive jackpots are some of the most exciting games that online casinos have to offer. Here are some tips that you should take into account when choosing to try your luck at one of these games:
- Choose carefully where you play – stick to casinos that pay the jackpot in one lump sum and not in instalments. If you are not an expert, pick one of the sites that we recommend.
- Use our lists for help — the biggest wins at online casinos usually come from progressive jackpots. Pick jackpot slots that are past their triggering point, which we display in real-time above.
- Not all jackpot games are created equal — have a look at the variance and RTP, which can be significantly below average.
- Get to know the progressive slot before betting — play it for free for a couple of rounds and read the full instructions. Sometimes players must play with the maximum bet to be eligible for the top prize.
- Jackpot slots may not be as random as you think – with some games, the probability of winning the main prize positively correlates with the bet size and current jackpot.
- Remember to stick to your budget — only play with money you can afford to lose. If it was easy to win, there would be no point.
- Have fun – don’t get obsessed with one jackpot and discover new opportunities. Progressive jackpots regularly appear in new slot formats and can also be found in other casino games, such as Live Casino.
Progressive jackpot casino games, slots, in particular, can be life-changing with just one bet and spin. However, not all jackpots or games are equal. Some may be better left alone until they grow a bigger prize pool. Others, like local jackpots, are best played at bigger casinos with more players. Either way, make sure that the slot site will actually pay out the prize without unnecessary delays and has a decent choice of jackpot games to choose from. At the end of the day, it’s your money and your time, so don’t get hung up on the running digits and pick a game that you actually have fun playing. When the FOMO finally gets you and you want to see what Lady Luck has for you then hope you now have a few more tips to add to your arsenal.
There are no tricks that help you win a progressive jackpot, as each spin is independent of others. You can, however, increase your chances of winning by playing with higher stakes and choosing games that have a “hot” jackpot which is long overdue.
The majority of progressive slot games let you reach for the main prize only in their bonus features, which can either be triggered randomly or with special symbol combinations.
There are two main types of progressive jackpots: one is the local jackpot which is only available at the specific casino or a network of casinos with the same owner. Pooled or networked jackpots is the second type, which is played at various different online casinos. There are also games that use both, and instances where the same jackpot is used in many games at the same time.
So far, the biggest progressive jackpot in history was won by a Belgian player at Napoleon Sports & Casino on 27 April 2021. The game in which it was triggered is Microgaming’s Absolootly Mad™: Mega Moolah and the amount of the win was a staggering €19,430,723.60.
The most popular progressive jackpots games include Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, and WowPot slots, NetEnt slots with Mega Jackpot like Mega Fortune and Hall of Gods, Playtech jackpot series like Age of the Gods and DC Super Heroes Jackpot, Blueprint’s Jackpot King slots, and Cleopatra Mega Jackpots by IGT. There is, however, one game type that is even more popular than progressive jackpot slots, and that is the lottery.
There are hundreds of online casinos with progressive jackpot slots. The most important is to play at licensed and approved casinos. Refer to our curated list of the best jackpot sites where you can play with peace of mind.